New paper out : "Ground‐Motion Variability for Ruptures on Rough Faults"

04 December, 2023

Fault roughness influences earthquake rupture dynamics, seismic energy radiation, and, hence, resulting ground motion and its variability. Using 3D dynamic rupture simulations considering a range of rough‐fault realizations, we investigate the effects of rupture complexity caused by fault roughness on ground‐motion variability, that is, the variability of peak ground acceleration (PGA) and velocity (PGV) as a function of distance. In our analysis, we vary hypocenter locations (leading to unilateral and bilateral ruptures) and fault roughness amplitude to generate a set of magnitude M ≈ 7 strike‐slip dynamic rupture simulations. Synthetic seismic waveforms computed on a dense set of surface sites (maximum resolved frequency 5.75 Hz) form our database for detailed statistical analyses. For unilateral ruptures, our simulations reveal that ground‐shaking variability (in terms of PGA and PGV) remains nearly constant with increasing distance from the fault. In contrast, bilateral ruptures lead to slowly decreasing ground‐motion variability with increasing distance in the near field (less than 20 km). The variability becomes almost constant at large fault distances. We also find that low‐amplitude fault roughness leads to ruptures that are likely to generate higher PGA variability than events on faults with high‐amplitude roughness. Increasing fault roughness distorts the radiation pattern, thereby reducing directivity effects and, hence, potentially lowering ground‐motion variability. The average PGV variability from our rough‐fault rupture models is consistent with estimates from empirical ground‐motion models (GMMs). However, the average PGA variability exceeds the variability encoded in empirical GMMs by nearly 20%. Hence, our findings have implications for near‐source ground‐motion prediction in seismic hazard studies, because ground‐motion variability depends on details of the earthquake rupture process and is larger than GMM estimates.


By Jagdish Chandra Vyas, Martin Galis, P. Martin Mai in BSSA Journal